Want to get more immersion out of your PC gameplay? Imagine this: You’re aiming down the sights of a rifle in Call of Duty, straining to track the player who’s been sniping you from afar and get him in your crosshairs. Suddenly a barrage of missiles rain down from overhead, blanketing your area in explosions and vibrating your headphones with a long, low rumble. Not only have you lost your target but your heart is racing from the intense sounds coming from the battlefield, literally shaking your head.
Corsair’s $130 HS60 Haptic headphones have rumble motors—like the ones found in gaming controllers—built into each earcup. They read the low frequencies coming through the USB connection to your PC and use that to trigger vibrations so you can feel the sound as well as hear it. The adjustable wheel on the right ear cup adjusts how hard the rumble pushes (and boy, can it crank) but it’s dependent on the overall volume output. Less low end frequencies present in the signal means less vibration intensity, and vice versa.
The detachable microphone quality doesn’t quite meet my needs, as explained in the video above, but it gets the job done for basic voice chat. Corsair’s iCue software lets you tweak the EQ to your liking, but for the most part I kept it flat during my time testing. The sound characteristics coming out of the HS60 Haptic focus on bright, crisp highs and punchy lows—even with the rumble motors turned all the way down.
At $130 on Amazon, the Corsair HS60 Haptic headphones offer a camo aesthetic and a mixture of plastic and aluminum materials that add up to a comfortable pair of headphones with a punchy sound profile. For almost twice the price, the Razer Nari Ultimate we reviewed in 2018 offer an upgraded experience if you prefer a wireless option with nicer build materials.
I didn’t expect to enjoy a vibrating pair of headphones as much as I did, and while haptics don’t really add much to story-based RPGs or tactics games, it adds a lot to the experience when you’re playing more visceral titles, such as first-person shooters. Unfortunately the camo aesthetics aren’t my jam, so the Corsair HS60 won’t become my personal daily driver, but they’re worth considering if you’re interested in literally feeling the groove in your games.